The Columbine

Newsletter of Gardening Kingston

November 2021


President's Message

By Suzanne Maranda

It’s always so exciting to discover the first little shoots in the spring garden. Even the rain is wonderful, as it cleans away the last snow, and the smell of the damp earth permeates the air. There is a lot of work to do, but we gladly undertake the reviving of our gardens.
The fall now, is another matter. The colours are glorious, the asters full of bees, but the tasks are disheartening. The summer is always too short, and when it comes time to put things away, I realize I could have spent more time enjoying my backyard. Last weekend I was planting bulbs and removing dahlias from my planters and was quite surprised to find some new blooms on the Eucomis that I had purchased through our summer bulbs sale.  I had planted all six in one large planter, hoping to get a lovely “bouquet”. This never happened because the blooms came only one or two at a time with too much time in between to make a display. It turns out I had to wait until mid-October to get more blooms! Another late bloomer, also purchased this spring, was the Crocosmia. There was nothing all summer, but then a few leaves emerged. Knowing that this one bloomed in late summer, I planted it out in the garden, and then finally the flowers came in October - I had almost given up! I will continue to put my garden to bed (when the rain stops), but will now watch for more surprises…I wish you lovely finds as well.

AGM 2021


November 11th
7:00 pm via Zoom

What you need to know:

  • AGM Materials were sent on October 28th, so if you haven't read them yet, please check your inbox.
  • That Email also included a button for Registration and casting your E-ballot.
  • Deadline to register is Wednesday, November 10th.
  • On November 11th only those who have registered will be able to attend.
    No late comers!
  • Even if you don't plan to attend, please take the time to review the materials and submit your E-ballot. Your vote counts too!

Thanks to all those who have already voted and registered. We look forward to seeing you.

  Following the business portion of our AGM please stay with us for our guest speaker, Catherine McGill, and her talk
“Humour in the Garden”.

"Mother Nature was in flux with her moods when she made some of her plants and the names we gave them. Some are just plain silly and others amazing feats of brilliance that can dazzle us."
Enjoy this fun time of neat blooms that can make you smile
when you see them and say their names.

Learn, Grow, Share

Never Zoom'd before and don't know where to start?
Check out these resources:
  1. Zoom FAQ's
  2. Step-by-step Guide (PDF)
  3. Video and Tutorial
  4. Or send us an email and we'll try to help you out
We also share garden related information on Facebook. So, if you aren't following us already, consider connecting with us there.
We also share garden related information on Facebook. So, if you aren't following us already, consider connecting with us there.

OHA's Trillium Newsletter

Interested in seeing what other societies in the province are doing? Stay updated with the latest OHA news. Follow the link to the latest issue of the OHA’s Trillium newsletter.

Joys of the Fall Garden

A selection of treasures from some of our members

"Re-blooming irises are not always dependable, but that is not the case with this classic white iris called 'Immortality'.  It flowers during the regular iris season in spring as well as in late summer and fall. The late killing frost in this region enabled Immortality to bloom a few times making it a lovely addition to the garden. We have been so happy to see this eager iris bloomer in late October.  It is in full sun most of the day and is well looked after by Penelope.  Hopefully we can accumulate a few tubers for future plant sales."
Alita and Penelope Battey-Pratt

"This year was not a good carrot year, but I managed to harvest some very respectable specimens. I find carrots a bit of a challenge. First there’s the problem of sowing these tiny seeds. Too close and they need thinning. Thinning releases carrot scent, which can attract the dreaded carrot root fly. The larvae of this pest burrows into the carrot ruining it. So avoid thinning, but the seeds are so tiny it is hard to sown them thinly. Solution, seed tape. Gosh, seed tape is expensive, I hear you say, but really, how expensive is it, certainly not more than a bunch of fresh carrots at the grocery store. So, if you want to grow delicious carrots, treat yourself to some carrot seed tape, don’t sow them too early (to miss the larval stage of the carrot root fly) and surround them with other vegetables that will mask the carrot scent - garlic and onions are good examples. Then don’t touch them until first frost, and enjoy them with Christmas dinner."     Rebecca Kelly

"I introduced two flowering shrubs to our woodland gardens this spring and they have both rewarded us with colourful berries this fall.

Aralia cordata 'Sun King', commonly called Japanese spikenard, featured chartreuse foliage through the summer and then produced umbels of white flowers arranged in spike-like panicles. The pollinated blooms then produced berries that ripened to a purplish-black.


Callicarpa 'Pearl Glam', commonly called Beauty Berry, certainly lived up to its name this fall. It featured lovely maroon coloured foliage through the summer with tiny white flowers by the end of August. By October it was covered in eye-catching purple berries. This newer cultivar has a more upright habit and is more well behaved than other cultivars."

"Although on a vastly smaller scale, I still always look forward to some added colour in the alpine beds as the cold weather sets in. One species of Orostachys, O. erubescens, provides a beautiful colour change and also regularly blooms in November. Like its close relatives, Sempervivums (Hens and Chicks), these are also monocarpic, so once they bloom, the rosette dies, but the 'pups' grow to fill in the gaps."    David Kelly

Even in full bloom, these only reach 8" tall.

Photos: David Kelly

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